Mark’s Ending

If you have a bible at home, it probably has a notation like this just before Mark 16:9. The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do no have Mark 16:9-20. (NIV) Or it might have two endings. One titled “The Shorter Ending of Mark” and the other, which is Mark 16:9-20, titled “The Longer Ending of Mark.” (NSRV). If you look on line to figure this out you will find lots of material explaining how it is an open question about whether this ending was really a part of the original version of Mark. The NIB, however, does not see it as much of an open question. The commentary notes that “[s]ome scholars continue to hold that the original ending of Mark has been lost but might be reconstructed from elements in the endings of Matthew and Luke. Such proposals represent a contemporary version of the efforts made by ancient readers.” That is, an effort to give the reader an easy out rather that challenging the reader to find “a literary account of the relationship between this ending and the narrative structures of the Gospel as a whole.”

Mark ends with an empty tomb. But does that mean Mark does not give us a resurrection? Or do we need to think about what resurrection means?

Consider who was dead and then came back to life to walk on Earth? Jairus’s daughter; Lazarus (from John); the son of a woman (by Elijah); another child (by Elisha); and others.

The Christian Bible says that Moses died, although maybe buried by God, but according to the NIB commentator by Hebrew tradition Moses did not die but was taken up by God. In both Hebrew tradition and the Christian Bible Elijah was taken up.

Which thing happened to Jesus? Brought back to life to walk the Earth, or taken up with God? Here’s a hint.

I’m just saying. Or more properly, the author of Mark is just saying.

One reply on “Mark’s Ending”


There is a lot of misinformation about Mark 16:9-20 floating around, even in commentaries by some first-rate scholars. Sometimes, I think, the presentation of the evidence is tilted to favor the conclusion that Mark 16:9-20 is a scribal addition, and the reader is not permitted to see the full spectrum of evidence that might suggest something else.

I’ve devoted some time to the subject of Mark 16:9-20; a thorough research paper — “The Origin of Mark 16:9-20, eMail Edition” can be downloaded at

in which I present a case that Mark 16:9-20 is an authentic part of the Gospel of Mark. A summary of an earlier draft of that paper is also online, at .

I hope these resources are helpful to you.

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

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